California Houses

The following is an article from the Albany Evening Atlas of June 23, 1849:


Our estimable fellow citizen Dr. Knower, who is to start for California by the Crescent City via Panama, is about to ship to that place twelve houses, complete and ready to put up on arrival at San Francisco. The venture is a costly one, the freight on the material approaching the cost of as many frame buildings in this quarter, and the projector, we think, has managed the speculation with great foresight and judgment. The best timber has been selected, and the best work men employed, and a plan of architecture pursued, which is supposed to offer the greatest advantages with the most economical expenditures of material. Four of these buildings are 18 feet front and 25 feet deep. A partition running lengthways divides the buildings into two rooms, and the stairs leads to a second platform, which is large enough for bedrooms, or for storing materials and tools of miners. Two others are 18 feet front and 18 feet deep, with a small extension in the rear of 8 feet. Two are 16 feet in front and 22 feet deep, with the entrance on the gable front; and the four others are 18 feet front by 14 deep. The sides of the building will be composed of a double framework of boards planed, grooved and tongued, fitting air tight on each side of the timber, the interval between them being either filled with the moss of the country or left vacant, the confined column of the air being found sufficient to keep off the excess of cold or heat. The roofs of all the buildings shed from the front, except two of which are of gable shape. The roofs are to be made of solid, close-fitting planks, covered with fine ticking and coated with the patent indestructible fire-proof paint, and applications which our citizens have just begun to use here, and which they have, found entirely successful.

The houses can be easily transported to the placers or may be put up on the sea-board. We should suppose that the numerous land-owners who are speculating on the prospects of future cities would be glad to give the land necessary for the location of this village.

The houses go by the Prince de Joinville, a first-class vessel, which leaves New York soon.

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